Explore the cultural diversity and breathtaking countryside of Britain and Ireland with their imposing city spires, wild Highland landscapes and such highlights as the idyllic Lake District, Edinburgh Castle, Dublin's Trinity College and Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace, all en route.
This morning meet your Travel Director and traveling companions to board your Trafalgar coach and set off from London. Visit Stratford-upon-Avon, where you have time to see the sights and shop for souvenirs. During your orientation of York your Travel Director will take you on a walk through the web of quaint, narrow streets and show you York Minster, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. Continue to your hotel in Bradford where you dine tonight.
Drive through the Yorkshire Dales to the scenic glory of the Lake District. Traveling along the shores of England's largest lake, Windermere, and through countryside that inspired the Romantic poets, you reach Grasmere. View the grave of William Wordsworth, buried at St. Oswald's Church. We cross the Scottish border and visit Gretna Green, where eloping couples would say their vows over the anvil. This afternoon your orientation tour of Glasgow includes views of the cathedral, the magnificent George Square and the River Clyde, former heart of the shipbuilding industry.
Today visit Edinburgh. Your Local Expert takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city. View the famous castle, the Royal Mile, historic Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat and the new Scottish Parliament building. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town. Later enjoy free time to explore at leisure.
Follow the rugged Ayrshire coast past the island called Ailsa Craig, the stepping stone from Scotland to Ireland, then board a ferry for the short crossing to Northern Ireland. See City Hall, Queen's University and the dock where the Titanic was built during your city orientation. Finally cross the River Boyne at Drogheda to enter the Irish capital, Dublin.
See Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Phoenix Park and the stately Georgian squares with your Local Specialist. Spend the rest of the day as you please. Why not explore Temple Bar or Grafton Street, famous for its street performers? This evening consider joining an Optional Experience to an Irish cabaret.
Traverse County Kildare's splendid countryside. In Kilkenny see the imposing medieval castle and enjoy free time for lunch. This afternoon visit the House of Waterford Crystal showroom and see the exquisite pieces. Dine tonight at your hotel.
Cross St. George Channel to Wales, and continue your journey to Cardiff Bay to view the Millennium Center and the National Assembly. View the historic Cardiff Castle and see the Millennium Stadium before arriving at your hotel.
Cross the Severn Estuary into England and the glorious city of Bath. See splendid Georgian architecture during your orientation. Perhaps consider a visit to the Roman Baths. View the world's oldest and largest inhabited castle during your visit to Windsor. Why not enjoy a stroll along the banks of the river or shop for Royal souvenirs. Later arrive back in London.
Say goodbye to your traveling friends at the end of your amazing vacation.
11 meals. 9 full breakfasts, 2 three course dinners.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Adult Price: £21
You’ll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. You’ll also walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.
Adult Price: £39
Join us for a traditional Welsh country dinner. We'll take you to a 14th century thatched inn called The Blue Anchor. While you're eating and enjoying your drink, you'll be entertained with a performance from a Welsh harpist.
Adult Price: £54
Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humour. The venue for the evening is the Welsh Millennium Centre, an iconic building in the fashionable Cardiff Bay area. After a warm reception, you'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialities, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local musicians presenting the beautiful music of Wales.
Adult Price: € 45
Come to one of Dublin's most locally-loved restaurant-pubs. You'll enjoy dinner and charming hospitality that this part of the world is renowned for.
Adult Price: € 20
Enjoy a visit to one of the most important monastic sites in Europe, which dates back to the 6th century. Your Local Specialist will tell tales and show you around this sacred area, famous for its tranquil beauty amidst the rolling countryside of County Wicklow, the garden of Ireland.
Adult Price: € 71
Enjoy an evening of fine food and non-stop fun as Ireland’s history unfolds in a cabaret of comedy, song and dance. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the show, all in the spirit of Irish humour. And you’ll even be served an Irish coffee to round off your dinner.
Adult Price: £17
You’ll explore this magnificent ship, which has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. Now berthed in Leith, you’ll be welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences – the former honeymoon sanctuary for four royal couples.
Adult Price: £44
See Stirling Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night. A truly local experience, you'll be piped in to your evening meal in the historic Scottish city and enjoy an evening of Scottish delights.
Adult Price: £36
You'll enjoy a chance to experience a night out in the city of Glasgow. Your Travel Director will take you for an evening of good food, a drink, and undoubtedly interesting conversation.
Adult Price: € 23
Join us in Waterford, where the history dates back as far as the Vikings. Your Local Specialist will bring the historic area to life through stories and anecdotes; one guest even described the trip as the "best history lesson ever". Afterwards, we stop off for a drink in one of the area's oldest pubs for a pint or drink of your choice.
Adult Price: € 27
During this evening of entertainment, you'll get the chance to experience Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition. Enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.
Adult Price: £16
Enjoy an exclusive cruise on a private boat on England's most beautiful and largest lake, taking in the northern coastline, beautiful houses, gardens and Wray Castle. You’ll see deserted islands, boats and birdlife as you explore the area loved by Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
Adult Price: £18
A chance to view the glorious scenery of the Lake District as we cruise across England’s largest lake. Then step back in time as we board the steam train for a short journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite.
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Christmas Day Is celebrated in the United Kingdom on December 25th. The majority of businesses and organizations (except for hospitals) are closed on Christmas Day. Some smaller stores selling food may open however public transport services may not operate at all. Your itinerary may be affected and inclusions changed to accommodate closures.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: $330 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $73 per person.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.
The currency in the UK is the Pound (£) and in Ireland is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in the UK and Ireland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast. In larger cities like London you’ll also find restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine.
Irish national specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake. Be sure to try an Irish breakfast, visit a chip shop for fresh fish and chips, and enjoy hearty lunch at a good local pub.
The climate in the UK and Ireland is temperate, with regular rainfall throughout the year. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping in Britain and Ireland is less common than in the U.S. When dining out, some restaurants will add a service charge of 12.5 percent to your bill, especially for groups. If a service hasn’t been added, it’s appropriate to leave 10 – 15 percent gratuity.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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